Tuesday, December 29, 2009

making the reception unique

DJ Craig is a music programmer, remix artist and party enabler in the southern California area. He has been providing Disc Jockey and lighting services for Southern California weddings and special party events for over 15 years.

Now this guy would have lots to say about wedding receptions. He's probably witnessed thousands of them. Sometimes when you've seen a failure occur a million times you can't help but notice a pattern, know what I mean?

Anyhoos, here's what he has to say about '9 Easy Ways To Make Your Wedding Reception Unique':

Pick An Unusual Entrance Song:

Check out your music collection and write down the first ten songs that appeal to you. Then decide which one of those would be best for you to walk into at your reception. Chances are you will come up with an Entrance Song nobody else has thought of. One rule of thumb is- the higher the energy of the song, the better. This applies whether it's Classical, Rock, Hip Hop, Swing, etc.

Don't Just Enter, MAKE An Entrance:

The difference can be subtle or more pronounced but it is important that you, in some way, visually acknowledge your guests as part of your Grand Entrance. This can be done by simply pausing to let them get a good look at you while they snap a picture, waving back at them or perhaps taking a bow or giving high fives. Now you have included your guests in the joy of the moment by making them PART of your entrance!

Change The Order:

Often the First Dance comes after the meal. But there's no rule that says you can't do it right after your entrance. The Best Man's toast can be at the beginning of the meal... or later, towards the end of it. Just because you throw your bouquet doesn't mean you have to do the whole garter removal and throwing thing. If you want, you can the pass on the removal and just have a garter toss or you can dispense with the whole formality.

That Sounds Different:

You have an opportunity to create a unique experience for your guests from the time they first step foot in your reception. It is important that your reception have it's own "sound". Preferable a unique mix of songs that people don't usually come in contact with at the office, the mall or while listening to the car radio.

You can turn your room into a romantic Spanish villa with flamenco fusion latin guitar. Or create a swinging, "Rat Pack" atmosphere with classic big band music. You could even transport your guests to a sunny, tropical seashore with the rightright mix of beach music. We had one couple who got engaged in Italy and chose artists like Dean Martin, Andrea Bocelli and Louis Prima for their dinner music. The choice of sounds that sets the tone for your reception is limited only by your imagination. The goal is to give your guests something they haven't experienced at any other wedding they've been to.

Saying "Thank You":

A simple "thank you" to your guests over the mic can mean so much. Publicly expressing your appreciation for their participation at your wedding is one of the classiest and most heartfelt things you can do. And in case you should miss anyone during your mingling time, you have at least already acknowledged your gratitude to them.

Choreograph Your First Dance:

A choreographed First Dance is always a special treat for you and your guests. We've seen waltzes, swing dances and even a tango or two. A bit of work is involved here as you may need to take some lessons and rehearse prior to your "performance". The pay off is creating an unforgettable moment for you and your guests. A moment that never fails to get a great response from all in attendance.

Use Creative Lighting:

The right lighting can add color and depth to any room. Colored beams of uplighting on the walls, a pinspot to highlight the cake and dynamic projection dance floor club lighting are some ways to create a special atmosphere. Well planned lighting has a dramatic effect on the look and feel of your reception.

Avoid Musical Cliches:

Party songs that have been played at every wedding in the past twenty years can be replaced with more inventive choices. Jettison those played-out tunes like "Love Shack", "La Bamba", "Mony Mony", "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "I Will Survive". Update your playlist with fresh ideas. Examples of newer songs that have wide appeal include "Smooth" by Santana, "Hey Ya!" by Outkast, "Get The Party Started" by Pink, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet and "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. This is a good starting point and the music can get more cutting edge adge as the night goes on.

Promo, Promo, Promo:

Have you ever been to a wedding where you felt like you didn't know what was going on? Your MC should let your guests know what they have to look forward to later. Attendees will be less likely to leave early if they know that the cake cutting is coming up shortly. Or that if they go now they will miss the first dance. Make sure your MC understands the power of the promotional announcement!

Friday, December 18, 2009

if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it

Approximately a month and a half ago I personally went browsing and picked out a half carat at the price of RM6000. It sounded pretty OK in Guys books considering he had just enough to cover our wedding bands in the budget. There were people (mainly Mmmy) who were disappointed with my choice claiming it wasn’t right for me to be married off with such a cheapo bling. I have to admit I wasn’t ecstatic about it but I didn’t think a ring could be such a big deal in terms of saving face. But it was. And I was torn between my man and my mother. Hence I just left the subject aside for abit and continued to work.

Little did I know that time can be pretty tricky, the longer you want it to stall the faster the clock ticks and next thing I knew it was just a week to my engagement… and we still didn’t have a ring! Just as I completed my last O&G tag, Guy drove me from TI to De Gem, Bangsar to get our ring-shopping done. It was both thrilling and worrying at the same time. A boy has never bought me a ring before... I couldn’t help but be quite bewildered. Mmmy and Dddy came along for the ride. Drama pending *giggle*

Turns out, horror of horrors, the previous diamond I had picked out previously had been shipped to their outlet in Jakarta! There were just no other RM6000 stones left. F*ck.

Mmmy proceeded to ask them to bring out whatever 0.4-0/6 carats they’ve got left and then Michael (store manager) put this stone in front of me that was mind blowing. From the start I knew I wanted a solitaire enclosed in a 6-claw ring. When Elesa presented me with a 0.6 Carat Excellent Cut VVS Clarity Colourless, I fell deep in love! It was THE stone. I felt it but I didn’t dare show it. I did, though, grin like Cheshire cat and giddy. Well it was most rightly so ‘cos the price revealed itself and we had a momentary exolphthalmus. It was definitely over his budget. I was about to say no when Mmmy nodded in approval. She was happy with the stone. I looked to my right. Guy was pale as sheet. I checked his pulse and reminded him of the act of breathing.

We take it-lah.
moi: Huh?? Eh no-lah… it’s way above the budget.
Guy: You like it. I can see it in your face.
moi: That’s not the point.
Mmmy: I think this is the one.
moi: *exasperated*
Guy: Just take it. Really it’s OK.
Mmmy: It’s just the right size…
moi: Mmmy! But we can’t afford it babe…
Guy: It’s OK. Let me worry ‘bout that. I’ll work it out. We’ll take it.

At the risk of sounding absolutely pompous, I can’t help but gush at how pretty it is. It’s just absolutely beautiful and QQ. It is actually quite nicely large when you stare long enough at it and NOT look at any other diamonds above 0.6 carats. I chose a white gold band ‘cos it’s cheaper than platinum. And the claws look like a crown from the side. How regal weee!! It’s seriously the best present that Guy has EVER given me :) Whenever I feel low and pitiful, I just cock my head to the left and lift my ring finger and *WHAZAAAM!!* I feel all peachy and special again.

Well really the guide to choosing THE ring is:

1. Firstly be very very very informed with your boyfriend's monthly wage and financial commitments. Choose a price range that's comfortable for him and then kick it up just a wee notch just so he knows that he can't get you easy. Yet don't be cruel and create a pent-up argument-to-be. You could probably use XiaXue's '3-month-salary' tip which incidentally turned out to be the price of my ring though I hadn't planned for it before.

2. Take time to scour jewellery stores and look out for bargains in the newspaper. It really helps though I didn't do much browsing due to time. Make sure you choose your gem from a reliable jeweller. I've heard of horrific stories where independent goldsmiths actually exchange your gem with a fake or lesser valued stone when they finally get down to making your ring. I chose De Gem 'cos it was recommended to me.

3. If you can afford it, purchase an internationally recognized diamond. In my case we couldn't afford a Lazare and opted for a GIA stone instead. You don't want to be in a position where you HAD to sell your stone but got peanuts for it in return.

4. Keep looking around 'till you find one that you love. 'Cos when you do find that special stone / ring, waking up everyday to put it on becomes an activity you just can't wait to get outta bed to do. They don't say 'Diamonds are a girl's best friend' for nuts.

Trust me, this engagement ring thingy is real fun.

For the rest of my Ring story *click here*

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

the new age cinderella slippers

I am not the typical bride. I think you know it. It doesn't mean I don't appreciate conventional or traditional... I love a white dress, gigantic flower centrepieces, that something blue... Still, as I said, I adore stuff that's outta the box... atypical... unique... exquisite :)

I was just about to settle for Louboutin's Anemone when I saw this in Taipei!

I am so lovin' these Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Melissa Lady Dragon open toe plastic pumps!! OMG I'm crazy regrettin' the fact I didn't just get 'em at that time.

Brilliant way to sashay-sashay-chante down the aisle. And you know a wet floor ain't gonna get in your way of your 'man and wife' moment, for sure yo.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

behind the dress issue 01: love, vera

"You don't tailor Vera to fit you. You tailor yourself to fit Vera."

... Liv, Bride Wars ...

I love Vera. I super duper cruper wish I could wear a Vera on my wedding day. Alas, even a used Vera comes close to US$ 3000 and that's just awfully too much to scrape out from the BUDGET. I guess the eye candy will remain the eye candy ;)

So I thought I'd share my Vera Wang 'Behind The Dress' subscription with y'all darling babydolls 'cos I'm sure it doesn't hurt to dream...

Amelia reflects two important elements of my design philosophy: weightlessness and draping.

The ethereal beauty of a fairytale princess inspired this collection. I wanted to capture the concept of weightlessness through light, frothy skirts. By removing the crinolines (stiff petticoats under the skirt), the wedding dresses gain more movement. The result is a nymph-like sensuality that is both romantic and modern.

Soft draping across a structured bodice is a challenging formula in design. At Vera Wang, we have sought to master this technique and made it a signature of my wedding dresses. With Amelia, I chose to leave the seam allowance at the back of the draped bodice free, consciously adding more detail to the back. My eye is always searching for subtle ways to draw attention there…

I never add ornamentation just for the sake of it. Like jewelry, the crystal corsage at the hip of the Amelia wedding dress can stand on its own. As it is placed here, the crystals add an organic touch of magic to the dress.

Keep in mind, when accessorizing this wedding dress, keep it simple. The mix of design elements speaks volumes; little more is needed or you will overpower the dress.

I added crystal details on Amelia to introduce drama. As a philosophy, ornamentation on a wedding dress should reflect the nature of the celebration as well as the shape of the dress. When added directly to the wedding dress (as shown here), ornamentation accentuates.

Added ornamentation is particularly effective when beading feels overwhelming or inappropriate, such as for a daytime or an outdoor wedding.

My recent collections of wedding dresses are tinged with color to provide a fresh interpretation on modernity. I believe color expresses romance, artistry and femininity. For this particular collection, I focused on a palette of muted colors. Amelia is shown here in pale nude but is also available in ivory and white. Color speaks to each bride in a different way; use it to capture your own sense of style and originality.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

bridal shower registry: chanel

Forget about multiple gifts.. just pull everyone's money together and get me this!!

I wish Coco Chanel was my mother-in-law :(

Thursday, October 15, 2009

bridesmaid dress (trial 01)

Something from Color99:

So cutes right?? Only RM36 too.. yup, inclusive of belt(!). I ordered (online) 8 pieces for my lovely 8 bridesmaids. It's totally not in the colour theme but it's too good a buy for me to be all matchy-matchy. Imagine all of 'em standing in a row. Kawaii ne! I'm such a clever lil frugal bridezilla, non?

Unfortunately luck got the better of me and turns out the dress was totally sold out. Awaiting my refund now. Suck.

Back to the hunt.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

pretty lulu bridal

Look at these darling clutches from Pretty Lulu Bridal for the bride or even her bridesmaids :)

Important for keeping our lip-gloss, oil-blotting paper, lucky Domo Kun charm, last minute ang-pows, etc... in check.



Monday, October 12, 2009

shelbybaby b'day giveaway

Crazy sorry this is such a late post. Offer extended 'till Oct 31st! Email khoshelby@yahoo.com :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

sekeping serendah

While browsing through a local online wedding site (seriously cannot remember which one) I found an article on local spots for a weekend getaway which featured Serendah. I looked it up and was blown away by this far out architecture in the middle of what seems like a mundane forest!! Frankly I don't know where Serendah is.. I've seen it on one of the exits near Rawang on my way to TI but I never thought of it as anything special 'till now.

This place is a miracle, non? So Secret Garden - Tropical style!

I'm already envisioning it: one-night-only bridal shower / bachelorette party with lots of girly talks around the fire munching on barbecues and massive board games to follow. Oh goodness I do sound quite abit of a snore don't I?

Sekeping Serendah
"From Kuala Lumpur, take the North-South Highway (NKVE) north and exit Rawang. After the Rawang toll gate, turn right and head north via old trunk road. Pass busy Rawang town and head toward Serendah (10km). Turn right at 1st set of traffic lights after Serendah Police station. Next, print out and view the local map (600KB pdf) to reach the retreat."
Tel: 012-3246552

Friday, August 28, 2009

david tutera's my fair weddings

Maid-of-honour: Did you know David Tutera does shows for weddings too?

I did not.

But I do NOW! As you all probably know, David Tutera is my PARTY GURU. I totally idolize him, I indulge in his every deco tip, I nod at every word he's got to say bout party no-nos, I mean, to me... this guy's a host G*D!! Seriously. Turns out the party planner now has a wedding show where he comes in and basically puts on the finishing touches (or shall I say changes *wink*) to the wedding preps... sometimes to the bride's dismay. I can understand where the reluctance is coming from. But fact is we, common non-party planner people, brides gotta admit that despite our dreamy perfect wedding sandcastles in the air, we are absolutely clueless when it comes to the nitty and gritty details. That's where David (specialist, consultant, whatever...) comes in to save the day. It's definitely difficult to stomach in rejections: what?? no balloons you say?? but I believe sometime in the future we will look back and smile gingerly that we took David's advice.

There's no WE-TV in Malaysia. Me so sad. Would anyone like to send me a season of the show??

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

print ribbons

I was scouring through throngs and throngs of websites looking for an easy way to customized ribbons just in case I ever need personalized labeling when I came across Printribbon's uber cutey website. You may recognize the stands from some local bookshops and craftshops as well as identify some companies that use their services (oooh so that's where Suyin got her delectable -pun not intended- ribbons from).

Printribbon Sdn Bhd
6, Jalan 30b / 146
Desa Tasik Selatan
57000 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: +603-90578069

*bisou* http://www.printribbon.com.my/

Y'all know of any other ribbon customizers??

inspire: hollin + eric

Me Likes:
- the youthful exuberance of the atmosphere
- superb image captures by Ben Blood
- bride's very happy smile + that cute birdcage veil
- very "meriah" wedding invitation
- brilliant headshots, literally!
- her centil bridesmaids
- the entire concept of a tree house wedding!! so blissfully juvenile...
- polaroids!

Monday, August 24, 2009

very cute proposals

Proposals proposals... we all got them and it's the first thing one would ask when you declare a 'save the date'... which is why I don't have a date to save 'cos, well, Guy hasn't really OFFICIALLY proposed yet!! I guess that's just how it goes coming from a Malaysian (Chinese?) upbringing where marriage is the inevitable outcome of a relationship. I love Guy but the man's not much of a romantic-lah.. I've actually yet to experience my first bouquet of flowers (and I hope it looks like something Amy Osaba would put together). So here I am pencil-ing down my guest list, enquiring vendors, and looking around at venues and I gotta admit I do feel like an absolute loser getting things into gear when I'm not formally asked to be a bride. But bridezillas will be bridezillas and the absolute need to keep it all under the belt is severe despite proper invitation. Others, though, are intensely fortunate...

(Courtesy of Smitten)

When Linn decided to ask his girlfriend Annie to marry him, he knew one thing: She loved Starburst candy. So he decided to play a little trick...

Linn's side of the story:

Before proposing, I got advice from Annie's friends. They said, "Do it in front of all her friends," "Do it where you first met," "Go somewhere romantic." And advice from her sister: "Dude, Annie hates surprises." And that's when I knew: Make it a surprise.

Another thing about Annie: It's almost impossible to surprise her. Never in our five year relationship have I successfully surprised her. All attempts--and there were many--ended in my disappointment (because she wasn't surprised) or hers (because she got a Bud Light instead of Champagne). How do you surprise someone who can't be surprised?

Well, what better way to blindside her than to pick an activity that happens on a regular basis: Eating Starburst, her favorite candy.

So, one lazy Sunday evening in June, I held in my hand an unopened pack of Starburst. My secret? The second Starburst in the pack was actually miniature box (thanks to a razor blade, glue stick, and lots of patience) containing a diamond ring. The symbol of my eternal love was not encased in a cushy velvet box but wrapped with 99-cent wax paper. Amusing, but perfect.

A million thoughts swirled in my head: Here we go! What if she doesn't want a Starburst? What if she opens the wrong side of the pack and I have to eat 20 Starbursts before we get to the ring? When am I supposed to drop to one knee?

My emotions were a roller coaster. After dinner, I grabbed the pack of Starburst and thrust them into my pocket. I managed to choke out the words, “Do you want some Starburst?” Once the pack was in her hand, I focused only on executing the proposal perfectly. I strategically convinced her to choose the right Starburst--wrapped it in red, since she loves the cherry flavor. Seeing the red Starburst in her hand instantly made my heart beat a trillion times a minute. I hoped that my excess perspiration and breathing would not arouse her suspicion.

As she opened the Starburst, a new wave of excitement, satisfaction, and nerves overcame me. Things were moving so quickly, and all the thinking, planning, and more thinking were about to change my life. As I dropped to one knee and looked at her, well...it was exhilarating…and, best of all, she was surprised.

This is Shannon's story:

Last weekend, while we were on a trip, my boyfriend Chris proposed to me (an unbelievably romantic, sweet and perfect proposal--a whole other wonderful story) during a romantic weekend trip while my daughter Emerson was visiting her father in New York.

He also adores Emerson, my seven-year-old daughter, so he wanted to do something special to let her know we were becoming a family. So, when we picked up Emerson after our weekend trip, we all went down to a nearby creek. Chris asked me to stay near the path while he walked to the creek with Em to ask her something. Taking out a ring box, he got on one knee and asked her to do him the honor of becoming his step-daughter. My heart swelled knowing not only was I getting this amazing man as my husband, but my little girl was getting a wonderful step-father who absolutely adores her. She said yes and ran to me with a huge smile and a hug. A few seconds later, she started crying but between sobs told me they were happy tears, which I don't think she's ever experienced before.

It was a very special moment for all three of us.

*tear* So sweet hor??

Guy says that even though we're well on our way with wedding preps now, he WILL one day propose and I will be (pleasantly?) surprised. And the best thing, on his part, is.. I won't say no :P

Well it's a little hard to believe that I will be surprised but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt *wink* Let you know when it happens...

Do you have a romantic proposal story to share??

Friday, August 21, 2009

photobooth fabrics

An instant sunny photobooth setup with minimal effort. All you need is some good fabric and lots of smiles!
You can easily get cute (and cheap) furnishing textiles from Ikea or the local cloth shop, i.e: Kamdar, Globe Silk Store, Nagoya Textiles. If you're willing to splurge make a visit to Janine (look for Azmie,he's a doll!), Laura Ashley, ... (I'll add more when I get more info k!)
Do you know of any good textile houses? Do share :)
Best thing is, when you're done, you can easily take it for a good wash, scooter to the village tailor and have them cut up into tablecloths, dinner napkins or placemats. No wastage there!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

reusable jars

I love mason jars!

That's 'cos everyone (who's insanely creative) has mason jars especially in the States and they tend to come up with the most amazing use for the glass containers. It's crazy. Just as you thought jars would be just jars, they put on a kimono / house a tea-light candle and transform into the cheeriest cherry blossom (insert other flowers) vase / glass lantern!